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Septic System Ownership in Kentucky

In the bluegrass state of Kentucky, between 60 - 70 percent of homes use alternative sewage systems called septic systems. The Environmental Management Branch of the Department of Public Health manages the regulation of all septic systems in the state. Local county health departments carry out the day-to-day activities with their support.

Regulation of Septic Systems / Septic Contractors in Kentucky

The Environmental Management Branch reviews Kentucky septic system regulations every two years. Checking their website will ensure that those seeking information on septic systems in Kentucky always receive current information

Currently, Kentucky approves wetlands, mounts, peat systems, gravelless/chamber systems, alternative soil absorption designs, and aerobic treatment units. Drip irrigation is currently approved as only experimental, but it is allowed with variance exceptions along with at-grade chamber systems and sand filters. Experimental individual systems and cluster systems require management systems.

Licensure Requirements for Septic System Contractors

Septic system installers and other related professionals are required to have proper training and certification to work in the state of Kentucky. The Environmental Management Branch administers certification, often through the local health departments. Certified installers are required to take up to six hours of maintenance training each year.

Installing a New Septic System

In order to install a new septic system in the state of Kentucky, homeowners must contract for a site inspection from a certified inspector and then get a permit. A second inspection is required following construction. If purchasing a home that already has a septic system, the purchaser can request an inspection prior to finalizing an agreement. Inspection and permit applications are available from the local health department.

The Environmental Management Branch has several programs that provide funding to homeowners who need to replace a failing septic system or for those installing a new septic system in Kentucky.

How to File a Complaint

If you are concerned that a local septic system may pose a health risk, contact your local county health department. If they cannot help, then contact The Environmental Management Branch.

If you are dissatisfied with the service provided by a septic system company, you can contact Environmental Management Branch, The Kentucky Attorney General's Office, or the Better Business Bureau.

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